Building Relationships with Preschool Children
Girl: Places, everyone. Are the lights ready? Three, two, one.
Saameh Solaimani: Hi, everyone. I'm Saameh Solaimani. Welcome to Teacher Time. Thank you so much for being here with us today.
Virginia Tse: Hello. I'm Virginia Tse and thank you so much for joining us today for Teacher Time.
Group: Teacher Time.
Saameh: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Teacher Time. I'm Saameh Solaimani.
Virginia: And I'm Virginia Tse.
Saameh: We are from the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. We're so excited to have you here with us today. This season of Teacher Time, we will be focusing on positive behavior supports and working together through challenging behaviors, starting with relationships. This is the point in the program year where we've gotten to know our children in our learning community, and everyone is starting to settle into the routines and their learning environment.
This is also the point when we often see challenging behaviors emerge in different ways. These behaviors can be challenging for everyone in the environment, including the adults. During our time together, we will be discussing ways that we can support ourselves and the children in our care through looking at the following things. Teaching practices that support positive behaviors. Taking time to promote your own wellness, our own wellness. Connecting effective practice to brain development in our new segment, Neuroscience Nook. Discussing in Small Change, Big Impact.
And in our Focus on Equity segment's targeted strategies that build a sense of belonging and promote relationship building between adults and children and between children. We'll wrap up our time as we always do with The Book CASE, where we connect our topic to books you can share.
Virginia: Let's begin by checking in [Inaudible] Which number creature you are most feeling like today or relate to and why? Saameh, what creature do you feel like today?
Saameh: I would say I'm feeling like 12. I feel cozy. I'm here with my colleagues and my friends. I'm with all of you, so [Inaudible]. How about you, Virginia?
Virginia: I am feeling the same. I'm feeling like an 11 or a 12. I feel like I'm sitting next to you being supported and am supported by a wonderful team behind the scenes today. Let's check in the chat to see how our audience are feeling today. We've got an eight. Various feelings which are so normal for all of them that we're feeling.
We are so excited to focus this season of Teacher Time on cognitive behavior supports and social and emotional development. As many of you know, it's one of the domains in the Head Start Early Learning Outcome Framework, or the ELOF. The practical strategies that we will be focusing on today will be focused on relationships with adults subdomain in the social and emotional domain, as you can see highlighted here. We will also be focusing on positive behavior support strategies that can be used to prevent behaviors that challenge us across all of the ELOF domains.
Saameh: This season of Teacher Time, we will be working our way through the pyramid model. The pyramid model is a positive behavior support, or PBS, framework for addressing the social and emotional development and challenging behaviors of young children. This framework offers a continuum of evidence-based routine practices that are organized into four levels of support.
We start with nurturing and responsive relationships at the bottom, that's what everything is built upon. Then we have high-quality supportive environments followed by social and emotional teaching strategies. And lastly, at the top, we have intensive intervention. Today what we're going to be focusing on is that first foundational level at the base of the pyramid, establishing nurturing and responsive caring relationships with all children.
If you want to learn more about the pyramid model, check out the resources from NCPMI in your viewer's guide in the resources list section.
Virginia: Before we get into it, we'd love to hear what strategies and practices you already have in place to support building nurturing and responsive relationships with the preschool children in your care. Please share in the Q&A. But Saameh, what was one of your favorite ways to build nurturing and responsive relationships with the children you worked with?
Saameh: That's a great question, Virginia. The first thing that comes to mind here is that I really like to take time to observe what children are working on, whether it be a block structure, a drawing, maybe something in the sandbox. And ask open-ended questions about it, something I'm genuinely curious about.
I see something like, "I see you're working really hard on that. Would you like to tell me something about it?” Showing a genuine interest in what's important to the child is a great way to build nurturing and responsive relationships. I feel like children can really feel when we're genuinely curious and want to connect.
Virginia: I totally agree. I definitely feel the same. And some of our audience is saying using positive language, and giving praise, and really learning to get to know each other children, which is really similar to what you were saying. Really spending that quality time with them.
Saameh: Hugs and high-fives, greetings in the morning. Wonderful.
Virginia: I love that. Thank you so much for sharing what strategies you use. Positive behavior support, or PBS, is a positive and proactive approach to challenging behavior that focuses on supporting adult-child interactions in building social and emotional skills. Specifically, executive functioning skills that can help to regulate behavior.
Positive behavior support recognizes that all behavior communicates a message or a need. Once educators understand the meaning of a child's behavior, they can, together with the family, teach the child more effective ways to communicate their needs.
Saameh: Let's turn our attention to you. We do our best caregiving and teaching when we feel well ourselves. Engaging in self-care practices that can help educators build greater, social, and emotional capacity to deal with challenging times. Before we can support children's behaviors positively, it's important to find ways to regulate our own emotions throughout the day.
Self-regulation is the ability to manage our feelings, actions, and behaviors. Our ability to self-regulate is foundational to building strong and positive relationships with the children in our care. It's important to note that many different things can affect our ability to self-regulate. For example, our perceptions, our biology, our personal histories, to name a few. We are all coming to the table with our own unique stories and challenges, some of which affect our ability to self-regulate.
We also acknowledge that you may have just stepped away from the children in your care to be with us today. With this in mind, let's take a moment together out of our busy days to care for ourselves through breathing. Pausing throughout the day to self-regulate relieves any tension we're holding in and to re-center ourselves. Support our ability to respond mindfully as we nurture healthy relationships within our learning environments.
This quick breathing and regulation exercise takes a total of 16 seconds. If you feel comfortable, let's try it together. This breathing technique is called 4-4-8 breathing. We're going to breathe in for four, hold for four, and then breathe out slowly for eight counts. First, find a comfortable position for you.
Now let's start together. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four. Taking the breath into your belly. Now hold your breath for four counts, one, two, three, four. And release slowly for eight counts, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Notice how your body feels after the mindful breaths. We encourage you to explore other self-regulation techniques that work best for you.
Virginia: Well, I can say I feel better already. I feel my heart rate slow down and I just feel a little bit calmer.
Saameh: Only 16 seconds.
Virginia: Very true.
Saameh: It doesn't take much.
Virginia: It doesn't at all. When we take moments to regulate ourselves, we can slow down enough to support the children in our care in slowing down and regulating, as well. I'm sure many of you are already familiar with this practice of smelling the flower and blowing out the candle. This is one mindful breathing activity that you can do with preschool children.
If you're not familiar with it, the way you use this technique is to support children in taking a deep breath in like they're smelling a flower. And then have them blow out their breath like they're blowing a candle. Maybe you have a real flower to practice with, or a fake one, or even a picture of a flower that might be laminated. You could also practice with a large, unlit candle, or a laminated picture of one.
But we'd also love to hear from you about any other mindful breathing or mindfulness techniques that you have used in your learning environment. Please share these in the Q&A and we'll make sure that we share it with everybody else, as well. And while you're doing that, also be sure to check out the links under the resources heading near the end of your viewer's guide to find these cue cards, a link to these cue cards. And also, there's a cutout of that 4-4-8 breathing in the viewer's guide under the It's All About You section that you can cut out and paste in your environment.
Let's check our chat to see what other great ideas you all have. I know one that's similar that I've heard of before and I bet somebody's going to say it is blowing out hot chocolate or on soup, and that visual is just perfect for this time, at least in Seattle. It's chilly. I see you've got your sweater.
Saameh: I'm feeling very cozy today.
Saameh: Let's see. We have in our chat, the pinwheel.
Virginia: I love that.
Saameh: I like that one, the visual with the...
Virginia: You can have an actual pinwheel and actually have kids blow on that.
Saameh: Let's see. Birthday cake breath from Sesame Street. I can imagine that's a really fun one.
Virginia: That's a good one. Barbara is saying that teachers are doing the balloon breathing, hands on head, inhale to fill up the balloon, exhale and blow raspberries while waving their arms. Oh, my gosh.
Saameh: That's a fun one.
Virginia: That's a really fun one.
Saameh: I like that.
Virginia: I wish I knew that one.
Saameh: We'll have to do that one next time.
Virginia: Yeah and smelling the pizza. Oh, my goodness.
Saameh: I'm getting hungry now.
Virginia: Well, thank you so much for sharing your amazing, amazing ideas, and we'll continue to push those out so that everybody can see. Nurturing and responsive relationships are key to supporting children's healthy social and emotional development. Children who know that they can depend on trusted and caring adults are better able to manage their thoughts, their feelings, their actions, and to explore with confidence.
I invite you to think about what makes you a caring and trusted adult for each child in your care. Does a specific instance or child come to mind? Thinking about this can support developing more joyful and responsive relationships within the learning environment. Responsive relationships help children build those strong social skills, gain self-confidence, and are more likely to engage in positive social behaviors with peers and adults.
We would love to hear how you have seen responsive relationships positively impact the children that you care for. Please share in the Q&A your experiences of responsive relationships. Now I know that one of my favorite ways to build responsive relationships in the classroom. Was to spend that extra time with the children who are having difficult time transitioning into the learning environment. That one-on-one time, like you were saying before, Saameh, is just so special to really bond with that child, get to know them, and help them feel comfortable.
Saameh: So important. Maybe choosing one of the child's favorite books to read together ...
Virginia: I love that.
Saameh: ... like in a quiet area.
Virginia: I love that.
Saameh: Let's see what some of our audience is saying. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Virginia: Did you have any? What was your favorite ways to build relationships?
Saameh: I really like to, as I was saying before, really check in with what the child is working on, being very curious about what their interest is, and let them share with me.
Being open and curious is something that I find super-important. I'm seeing here we have telling the child you are glad they are here today, absolutely.
Virginia: And the kids loving fist bumps when they do something good, especially perfect for times right now. I see Kathleen is saying making books about their families. That is such a great idea, and you can have those books in your library area.
Saameh: So wonderful.
Virginia: And they can revisit it.
Saameh: Having a bit of home in the classroom.
Saameh: I miss those hugs being in the classroom. I remember them.
Virginia: They are the best.
Saameh: There's nothing like being run up to and getting a big hug.
Virginia: Well, thank you so much for sharing.
Saameh: Thank you. Research tells us that the early years are foundational for brain development. Adults play an important role in supporting healthy brain development connections and architecture. In this segment, Neuroscience Nook, we are excited to connect this research to everyday teaching practices. This is a new segment we were telling you about.
One way we develop healthy relationships with children is through responsive interactions. Neural connections are formed in the developing brain through serve and return interactions. Given that these connections are the foundation upon which all later learning is built, the educator's role in the early years is a very important one. As I'm sure you all know, serve and return is a special type of responsive interaction that is foundational for the healthy development of a child's brain development and their relationships. A child serves by saying something, doing something, or looking at something.
Virginia: Then the adult responds in a meaningful, directed, and developmentally appropriate way that matches the child's serve, like a tennis match back and forth. Let's take a look at what serve and return looks like in action. While we're watching this short video clip from a Head Start classroom, let's think about where you see the...
Teacher: This is red. What color is this one? Do they match? Do they match your shirt? Yellow and yellow? Let's count how many yellow ones we have.
Teacher: Here, we have more right here.
Boy: We have one.
Boy 2: Two.
Teacher: Two. Oh, I see a lot of yellow over there. What do I see that's yellow?
Teacher 2: All right, watch. Try this.
Teacher: What color are those? Girl: Those are yellow.
Teacher: Those are yellow. How many? Should we count them?
Girl: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
Teacher: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven?
Girl: Yeah. Teacher: [Gasps] What color are these tires?
Virginia: All right, that was such a great video. And before we get into the chat to see what serve and return interactions you saw. I just want to also point out some of the other great things some of our audience noted in the Q&A was Naomi mentioned that one of her kiddos made eye contact for the first time this week. And it was fantastic that somebody shared just being on a child's level and being there to be that personal. Just some more great strategies.
Saameh: Wonderful ideas, yeah. Love being greeted in the morning. Absolutely. Who doesn't love being greeted in the morning?
Saameh: In a warm, positive way. I think we all love that.
Virginia: I agree. With that serve and return video, I saw some great interactions between the teacher and the child. She was repeating the colors and then extending it.
Saameh: She was very – and again, actually looking at the chat, was on the child's level, right? She was on the ground right there with the children. All of the links and all the resources are should be available on your viewer's guide for you.
Saameh: Now that we've discussed the importance of relationships and how preschool educators play such an important role in supporting brain development. Let's shift to looking at practical strategies for how to build relationships.
Let's do this by getting back to the BASICS. The BASICS is an acronym, as you can see, are a collection of strategies that can be used in any setting with preschool children. The Teacher Time BASICS are B, behavioral expectations in advance. A, attend to and encourage positive behavior. S, scaffold with cues and prompts. I, increase engagement. C, create or add a challenge. S, specific feedback.
In this episode of Teacher Time, we will be focused on two letters of the BASICS for each episode. We hope that you will join us for all the webinars of this season or access them on PushPlay so that you can get all the basics of positive behavior supports. Today, we are going to provide examples of B, behavioral expectations in advance, and A, attend to and encourage positive behavior, emotional development, and build relationships.
Virginia: One way we can share behavioral expectations in advance with preschool children is to let them know ahead of time what will happen next, which I'm sure many of you are already doing. We know that this shows respect to and for the child and helps preschool children develop a trusting relationship with the educator.
This might sound like, "We're going to clean up for group time in five minutes. It's a good time to start finishing up what you're working on now.” Or, "First we will wash hands. Then we'll sit down for snack.” Or you might say something like, "After you get your coats and shoes on, you can look at a book by the door until everyone is ready.” And finally, "When we come back inside, it'll be lunchtime. Then it'll be nap time. Let's get our mats set up now so that we're ready to rest after lunch.”
Over time, children will learn that the educator means what they say, especially if they say something ahead of time like, "In a few minutes, I'm going to sit down and read a book with you.” And then actually follow through and read that book later. Let's watch what this might look like in action. As always, we'd love to hear from you, so as you watch the video, think about what you notice in the video and how you see behavioral expectations in advance being demonstrated. And, of course, if you'd like, share what you see in the Q&A.
Teacher: Now we need to do something before we go upstairs. What do we need to do first?
Child 2: Play.
Teacher: We need to eat. And before we need to eat, what do we need to do?
Child 3: Wash your hands.
Teacher: We need to go wash our hands. Let's get ready to go wash our hands and then we will go upstairs and maybe we can try to open it.
Virginia: All right, I know maybe there was some feedback for some people. I definitely heard it.
Saameh: I did, yeah.
Virginia: There is definitely the video linked in your viewer's guide if you would like to see it, again. I loved how that teacher used both words, but also some gestures to help remind the children what the next activity was with rubbing her hands. I'm seeing that Amanda's noticing the teacher's asking questions and letting the children answer what comes next. Love that.
Saameh: I noticed that, too. The children knew what was next and could be leaders, as well, in sharing they know how their routine goes.
Virginia: Thank you for somebody commenting that they did hear feedback, so thank you for being patient with us.
Saameh: Kathleen says clearly stated what was coming next. I also liked the hand rubbing.
Virginia: Somebody else mentioned the physical gestures, as well.
Saameh: And repeating the responses, "I hear you," wonderful.
Virginia: Awesome. Thank you.
Saameh: Now let's think about how we can attend to and encourage positive behaviors. The A in the BASICS. One way we can do this is by letting the child know you see them when they are engaging in positive behavior. An example of attending to and encouraging positive behavior is narrating what the child is doing or recapping what you saw happen. This connects the child's behavior to words that describe that behavior as positive.
There are a few things to keep in mind when naming positive behavior and building relationships. One is to show interest in the child's experiences and ideas. Communicate with your body language, tone of voice, and words that you are interested in what the child is doing, thinking, and saying. This is an opportunity to really be present with the child and tap into what you're genuinely curious about and noticing. It might sound like, "I am very curious about your block structure. Can you tell me more about what you're working on?” With warmth and curiosity in your tone of voice.
It might sound like, "Dylan, I can see you're very excited about your turn at the easel. Do you have an idea about what you want to paint?” Match the child's level of energy, volume, and emotional expression. This might sound like, "I can see how focused and hard you are all working on this floor puzzle. Keep up the great teamwork.”
Encouraging and validating the children's energy towards their work and collaborative efforts. Share affection and use words that communicate respect. This is at the foundation of building all relationships. This is also modeling what respectful interactions look like. You might say, "Thank you so much for helping Amelia put all those books away. That was so thoughtful.” In the learning environment, teaching and talking about helping each other happens often. This is one way you can reinforce children's thoughtful actions.
Let's watch and see how to attend to and encourage positive behavior and action. While you're watching, please share in the chat how you see the adult engaging in this practice.
Teacher: Five. Monica is helping you. Thank you, Monica. Six, seven. Thank you, Monica. You are pouring water. I like that. Thank you. You keep adding water.
Saameh: While we are waiting for your responses in the chat about where you see the adult attending to and encouraging positive behavior. Let's see, the teacher here – what did we notice? The teacher here is communicating, "Yes, I see you. I hear you. Thank you for being such a helper, such an important part of the community.” You hear her saying, "Thank you, Monica.”
Virginia: And definitely some of that parallel talk, saying, "You're pouring the water in.” And it really reinforcing that, yes, that's what we want. That's the activity and you're doing it the way, in a safe manner.
Saameh: Let's see what we have here. The teacher is describing what children are doing, Alana says.
Virginia: Amanda's saying the teacher stated, "Monica is helping you," and kept telling Monica thank you when she put something in the bucket. Really reinforcing that positive behavior.
Saameh: Teacher's vocalizing the action. I love that. Vocalizing is such a wonderful word. Making the child feel noticed.
Virginia: I love that, just really letting the child know that "I see you. I hear you and look.”
Saameh: Again, at the child's level. Right, the teacher positioned herself sitting in a way that she could be at the child's eye level.
Saameh: Wonderful. Thank you.
Virginia: Well, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Keep them coming. Now, we're going to move into our segment called Small Change, Big Impact. Where we will share how one or two small adjustments to the way that we set up our environment, modify our curriculum, or engage with children can make a big difference.
We know that no two children are the same, and when we make these small changes, it has big benefits for all children. It's also important to note that sometimes children will need more support with additional individualized curriculum modifications, embedded instructions, or intensive individualized teaching.
In today's webinar, we're going to offer a strategy called The Relationship Piggybank. One way to think about how to build relationships with children is by imagining that each child is coming to school with their own personal piggybank. A piggybank that can be filled with deposits from an educator such as a warm greeting, an inviting smile, a listening ear, validation of their feelings, and words of encouragement spoken at just the right time. If we should ever have to make a withdrawal in the form of a correction or redirection, the child's piggybank has enough positive deposits to offset an occasional withdrawal.
Keep in mind, though, that some children may arrive with piggybanks that are in need of extra deposits. These children would benefit from a plan that sets them up for success in piggybank deposits early and often. Some ways we can make deposits are by providing empathy. An example of this is when you are acknowledging and validating a preschool child's feelings when their tower falls over.
Saameh: That's a tough one.
Virginia: It is definitely a tough one. And maybe offering a hug to them if that child likes hugs. Another deposit could be playing together. An example of this might be when you are following the child's lead and building a block structure together. Another deposit might be giving a warm greeting. An example of this is when you're showing excitement that the family and child are there. Having a quick check-in if the family has the time in the beginning of the day and supporting both the child and family member in saying, "See you later," in a way that feels good to everyone.
Make sure you check out the viewer's guide for a visual choice board on ideas on how you can individualize greetings. Then our final example of a deposit can be positive daily check-ins. This could be when you're writing a note on a daily sheet, a positive phone call to the family, or sharing a story at pickup or drop off. I know that was one of my favorite ways. And really you know the families you partner with best and which method of communication works best for each family.
We have even more ideas and information about the relationship piggybank in our viewer's guide, so be sure to check that out. And remember that while this strategy is important for all children, including children with disabilities or suspected delays, the piggybank deposits, as for all children, should be individualized. For example, positive feedback may help a child connect their words to their behavior, saying something like, "Thank you for stacking the blocks with me. We cleaned up this area so quickly with your help. Nice teamwork and a high-five.” While another child might understand this with a quick thumbs up from across the room without any verbal cues.
There are many reasons why a child might not receive as much positive deposits or interactions, so the piggybank strategy is one that ensures that all children are receiving positive attention. We invite you to also share what deposits look like in your learning environment in the Q&A. Saameh, while we wait for our audience to share, what was one of your way or is one of your ways to make deposits?
Saameh: Well, actually mine is quite similar to yours because I also really like the positive check-ins, touching base with the families at drop off or pickup with a positive story about what a child might be working on or something that happened that day. Something like, "Today, Sara showed me that she could do the monkey bars all by herself.”
Virginia: I love that.
Saameh: Which is something that happened a lot in the preschool classroom. Or, "Brandon has been sharing about what he is learning about volcanoes in his new book. He has been teaching us so many interesting facts.” Which is definitely also an anecdote I am taking from the preschool classroom when I learned all about volcanology.
Saameh: And I didn't know what that was and my friend, my three-year-old friend, taught me all about volcanology, which was incredible. And I had to share that with the family.
Virginia: I love that. Some of our audience members are saying stickers throughout the day, playing with them and following their lead. I think that's a great deposit. Positive stories at drop off with families. Thumbs ups. Positive notes to parents. I love those. Even a note on a sticky note, right, at the checkout, if you're using the checkouts. Those are just so great to have.
Saameh: I think oftentimes we check in when there's something there's an issue. Or something that's happened that it's like a problem that happened during the day. It's really nice to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things that happened and be able to share that with the families, too.
Saameh: More positive than negative.
Virginia: Alana is sharing it's a great idea to write down good behaviors or actions and then read those later to the group.
Saameh: That's a wonderful idea. Yeah. Playing with and actively engaging with each child to their specific needs. These are so wonderful.
Saameh: Such good ideas.
Virginia: Thank you so much for sharing.
Saameh: Thank you.
Virginia: Make sure to check out the Teacher Time community in MyPeers for a video by Dr. Gail Joseph and Dawn Williams from the University of Washington discussing the piggybank.
Saameh: It's a wonderful video. Make sure to check it out.
Saameh: Throughout this webinar, we have been discussing ways to foster social emotional skills for all children. Today in our Focus on Equity segment, we will use our equity lens to take a closer look at implicit bias and its impact on building relationships with children. As we all know, relationships are complex. Many of the ways we relate to others are rooted in our cultural background and past experiences. Sometimes subtle biases that we might not even be aware of can interfere with our ability to relate to another adult, infant, or young child. The process of uncovering these implicit biases takes time and reflection.
Virginia: Yes, definitely. Let's take a moment to hear about interactions and implicit bias from Dr. Gail Joseph and Dawn Williams from the University of Washington.
Gail: In particular, there's an interesting study that was done by Walter Gilliam and his colleagues at Yale. I think what we all think is going on, he actually has some data to say, “yeah, that we might be on to something there.” And that is implicit bias, right, of teachers. What he basically did is he recruited some teachers into a study and he said, "I'm going to show you a videotape of children.” And in the videotape, there were four children.
There was a white girl, a white boy, African American boy, an African American girl, so it was four at a table. And he tells them, "Okay, I want you to watch for the challenging behavior that's going to occur in these videos.” And had this cool eye-tracking device glasses on and basically could see where they were looking. And with that setup, looked for challenging behavior. Who do you think they looked at?
Dawn Williams: The Black boy.
Gail: There was no challenging behavior.
Dawn: There's none in the video.
Gail: There's none in the video.
Dawn: But they still saw that.
Gail: But they see that. They look there, and so there's this bias and these biases occur. We live in a very racist society and media images. There's all kinds of ways that we grow up with these biases and they happen. We bring them into the door of our preschool classrooms, right?
Gail: I think about, too, I mean, it was years ago that I was a teacher, but I had a very diverse classroom. I wonder, too, like how was I acting? How was I seeing that the African American boys in my classroom were having more challenging behavior? Did I regard them as having more challenging behavior? Then I think the other piece of that is did I, when they had challenging behavior, did I react and interact with them in a way that was different. Than what I did with white children in my classroom, right?
It's one of these cases where I wish that I knew what I know now back then. Because I would have been really mindful of that and I think I would have asked for my supervisor and my coach to watch for that, right, to give me feedback on that.
Was that happening, right? Because we know that we have implicit biases. I have implicit biases. How were they acting in those class...
Virginia: That was such a powerful video.
Saameh: So powerful.
Saameh: Definitely, I mean, that, again, speaking of how important, how it does take time to really reflect on our own biases and how they're not necessarily intentional but we all have them. It's really important to take that time to look within.
Virginia: Exactly, yeah.
Virginia: Some takeaways that I received from that video clip was that implicit biases are the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. We all bring our implicit biases into the learning environment and it's simply because we're human. Finally, it's important to be mindful of our implicit biases. A way that we can become aware is by asking a supervisor, or a coach, or a co-teacher, or a colleague to work together around awareness and bias through observation and feedback.
Saameh: The only way we're going to be able to sort of see ourselves, right, is if we have feedback. Hopefully, it can go both ways and it can really be a mutual relationship.
Virginia: It's a powerful thing, for sure. There's also a positive attention tracking sheet in your viewer's guide that can help assess the positive-to-negative ratios of attention in a learning environment. Be sure to check that out. Also, when we are thinking about intentionally connecting with children in your care in meaningful ways, it may be helpful to consider the following statements.
For example, I made this child feel included today. I asked this child a question about themselves or their family. I showed genuine interest in the child today. I had high expectations for this child. I let this child and their family know how much I enjoyed them. I supported this child to learn a new skill today.
Saameh: You can try creating a checklist as a reflective tool to support you in connecting with each child equitably. At the end of the day, consider your checklist and set an intention for the next day. We'd love to hear about your experiences trying this out in the Teacher Time community on MyPeers, so please do share.
Virginia: I love that you said that Saameh, that you really consider the checklist and then set an intention for the next day. That's such a wonderful way to think about it.
Saameh: Yeah, intentional. I mean, we think about intentional curriculum development. And this is, in a way, this is intentional teaching. Reflective intentional teaching is so important to ensure that our learning environments are equitable and that everybody feels safe, seen, and heard, right?
Virginia: Seen and heard.
Saameh: Which is our goal here. Now we have the opportunity to hear again from Dr. Gail Joseph and our Teacher Time librarian Emily Small for our Book CASE, where we highlight books related to our episode's theme. Let's check it out.
Gail: Hi, everyone. Welcome to our Teacher Time library and meet our Teacher Time librarian, Emily Small.
Emily: Hi, everyone.
Gail: Emily has picked out some great books for us that go along with our theme of building and deepening relationships. She's going to share some of those with us and then also make the CASE for one of them. As a reminder or if it's the first time you've joined us, let me explain what CASE means.
CASE is an acronym, and it is just a way for us to be very intentional about the books that we select and share with young children. C stands for connecting the book theme or the content to something from the ELOF, the Early Learning and Outcomes Framework. The second, A, stands for advanced vocabulary.
Books are a great way to deepen and extend a child's vocabulary. To stop, pause for a moment, and connect an advanced vocabulary word with something the child is familiar with. S stands for supporting engagement. We will always want to think about how we're going to support active engagement with the book as we're reading it. And E stands for extending the learning. What can we do beyond the book that might keep the book theme or the learning alive in the classroom or in any early learning setting?
With that, I cannot wait. These look like some great books that you've picked with our theme of relationships, and so take it away, Emily.
Emily: All right, our first book is Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim. Danbi is brand new at school and doesn't know anyone, and so is having a bit of a hard first day. And then lunchtime comes around and the kids are very interested in her lunch. And it leads to a beautiful interaction between her and another child, and basically, Danbi leads a marching parade around the school.
Gail: I can't wait to read it.
Gail: I can't wait to know what's in her lunch and how that creates this relationship.
Emily: That's Danbi Leads the School Parade.
Emily: We have Dress-Up Day by Blanca Gomez. We have our little rabbit friend here who is sadly sick on dress-up day and has to miss it. She comes to school the next day in her rabbit outfit and no one else is dressed up. But it turns out there was another little boy that was sick that day. He comes dressed us a carrot. It's a very sweet little friendship that blossoms from these two children being in costumes and no one else being dressed up.
Gail: And probably so many emotion words that you can put in there.
Emily: Yes, use in this situation.
Gail: Absolutely. Love that.
Emily: We have Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora. Amazing book. Takes place in a city, showing the relationship between this one woman and her community and then how her community shows up for her at the end. The illustrations are all collage. I brought a special edition. This is called a Wonderbook.
Please check your local libraries for them. They are read-alouds. You just hit the on button. You hit play and it reads the book out loud to you. It has the little chime so that children know when to turn the page. This could be a great thing to use in maybe your quiet area or a table just for two friends to read a book together.
Gail: I love that.
Emily: Check out Wonderbooks.
Gail: I could see that they could put that like a head jack splitter in there.
Gail: That's incredible. You just put the...
Emily: Yeah, put it here.
Gail: ...put it right and I love that so much, Wonderbooks.
Gail: No more cassette tapes.
Emily: No more cassette tapes.
Gail: All right. That's great.
Emily: Then the book we're going to make a CASE for is A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshay. This book is about a relationship between a grandfather and a granddaughter and they're each teaching each other something.
Gail: I love that.
Emily: It's full of amazing vocabulary, lots of action words, words like energy, martial arts, and yoga. A lot of those action words are also in a different font.
Gail: Oh, neat.
Emily: Kids could also help pick them out and figure out what the action word is.
Gail: Love that.
Emily: This one would also I'm a big believer in story time doesn't have to be sitting. You could turn this into an action storytime. Maybe you read it through once, everyone sits down. Then you can do the movements that they talk about while reading the book, again, to support their engagement and interest in it.
Gail: Great way to support their engagement.
Emily: Then extending the learning is bringing in some maybe cards or yoga mats into the classroom so that children can have space to move their bodies in different ways just like they do in the book.
Gail: That's perfect. I love it. I love that it's a New Voices Award winner. I love that that's even an award and such a great thing, that relationship between a special relative, a grandparent and a child.
Gail: Such a great list of books. I'm going to check out those Wonderbooks. I hope they do them for chapter books.
Emily: They do.
Gail: Oh, awesome.
Emily: They do.
Gail: All right. Well, thanks for being here. Thanks for all of you for tuning in and can't wait to see what you put on your Book CASE.
Saameh: And that's our Book CASE. What a wonderful set of resources highlighting building relationships with preschool children. Remember that you can find this list of books in your viewer's guide.
Virginia: I love those Wonderbooks. I think I'm going to check them out myself.
Saameh: Yeah, we've come a long way.
Virginia: Yes, we have. Now we have time for a few questions in our Q&A. Enter those questions into the box and we will pick a few to answer live here. As you're thinking of questions or entering the questions, we want to be sure you know about PushPlay. If you missed a webinar, we've got you covered.
You can go to PushPlay DTL On Demand where you can find recently aired webinars at your convenience. We've made it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. The more views you have, the more customized the experience. Be sure to bookmark the site and save it or you can find it on MyPeers.
Also, if you love toddlers, we encourage you to check out a new podcast called Parallel Play, which is a podcast for educators who love toddlers on ECLKC website and in the Head Start Talks app. One more thing. We're including certificates of completion, so make sure you click on the link after the webinar and we'll also include that link in the evaluation.
Saameh: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Virginia, for sharing that important information that oftentimes we don't have time to get to. I'm so happy we had a little bit of time today for that. I see a question here. Do you have Book CASE recommendations for children who are younger, toddlers, for example?
Yes, we do. Great question. Remember that your viewer's guide actually includes all ages birth through five. You'll see a Book CASE for infants, for toddlers, and for preschool age. You will see the entire list with authors and titles there. It looks like somebody is commenting on the feelings tree, which you'll have the copy of your slides.
Virginia: It's in the resource widget, right?
Saameh: In the resource widget. Thank you for your questions.
Virginia: Would you like to share a little bit about MyPeers?
Saameh: I will, yes. Thank you, Virginia. MyPeers is a social network where early childhood professionals can brainstorm, exchange ideas, and share resources with colleagues from across the country. Members can join communities and workgroups in the MyPeers network. This is really a wonderful way to connect nationally with fellow colleagues. And if you aren't already a member of the Teacher Time community in MyPeers, we invite you to join. We welcome you and we'll expand our family. Well, let's see. Great.
I see a question. In my classroom, we have children who speak languages other than English. How can we provide behavioral expectations in advance in ways that all children understand? That's a really wonderful question, yeah.
Virginia: Such a great question and I think one of my favorite ways, I worked in a classroom with many, many different languages and I only can speak two, unfortunately. I wish I could speak more. But one way was to use visual images and I think somebody mentioned in the chat about providing a visual schedule with pictures. There are great ways you can either flip picture schedules over when that activity is done or use a little clip to show the child what is happening next.
You can also offer maybe individual schedules if one particular child, it's helpful to have additional reminders. Pictures and gestures are a great way for children that speak multiple languages.
Saameh: Thank you. Yeah, multiple means of representation. Absolutely. I have also seen visuals really work wonderfully for children for language maybe reasons or other reasons, as well. Definitely universally supportive.
That's also an opportunity I was thinking, Virginia, to maybe connect with the families and ask them maybe some simple schedule words. And be able to use those in their home language and maybe make a little chart for the languages represented in your classrooms.
Virginia: I love that.
Saameh: An opportunity to connect.
Virginia: Definitely, yes.
Saameh: Thank you so much for your wonderful questions. When you ask questions, it supports everybody to be able to have a deeper understanding and maybe come up with other curiosities. Our curiosities lead to other curiosities, which support all of our learning in this learning community that we're in together.Close
Healthy social and emotional development during the preschool years is foundational to children’s development in all other areas. Research shows that fostering positive relationships in the early years is key to that healthy development. Nurturing and responsive relationships are also the foundation of the Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) framework. The webinar discusses the importance of social and emotional development for preschoolers. Learn ways teachers and family child care providers can use the PBS framework to build relationships with the children in their care.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit the Upcoming Events section.